Udder joy: Poland's moo-d lifted after free-roaming cows saved from execution

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By Ciaran Sunderland  with Reuters
The feral cows had become incestuous due to lack of veterinary care.
The feral cows had become incestuous due to lack of veterinary care.

Free-roaming cows in Poland, whose intended slaughter had sparked a national outcry, have secured a last-minute reprieve.

The 180-strong herd, who wander in the Deszczno region in the country's west, were declared a health and safety danger earlier this month.

Poland's chief veterinary officer said the roaming cows threatened other cattle because they had not had proper checks.

Animal rights activists said the order to kill them was an outrage and the case attracted widespread coverage in the Polish media.

It prompted Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, to step in and get a decision to exterminate them overturned.

Duda tweeted that he had been informed a "happy" solution had been found for the cattle. He claimed EU rules had called for their killing.

Polish President Andrzej Duda intervened in the case.

After Duda's intervention, Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski, Poland's agriculture minister, announced the cows would instead be isolated on a state farm and then tested.

Krzysztof Ardanowski, Minister for Agriculture, announced his decision on Twitter.

In an interview given to Polish media, the owners of the cattle likened the herd to sacred cows in India.

The herd had been abandoned by two brothers and were allowed to roam freely causing damage to private property.